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ACDF Recovery

CRASH21CCRASH21 Posts: 139
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi All. Well, I am checking back in again. Had 2 level ACDF on 9/10. The first night in hospital was tough with vomiting and discomfort (not pain). Pain was taken care of. The first day home was pretty good and than I crashed. Lots of nausea. Can't get comfortable. Brace is clostrophobic. On the other hand, I have tons of help and compassion. So, I certainly can't complain about that.I just want to feel "normal" again. I think that even though I read so many threads, I just assumed that since I usually bounce back from everything so easy and am rarely sick, that this would not be as difficult for me. Well, I have learned that I am not "special" when it comes to spine surgery. Well, I think I am on the long road to recovery and am still trying to keep positive.


  • Glad to see you home. I am sorry for the nausea. I never went through that. I know what it's like wanting to feel normal again. Soon I hope!
    I wish you a short & succesful recovery. It sounds like you've got lots of support at home. That alone will make things easier.
    Take care!
  • that you've got a lot of supportive people around you. But I'm sorry to hear you've been so sick afterwards. Hopefully this is the worst of it and you'll get on the road to recovery very soon.
  • Hi CRASH21,

    Welcome back. Glad your surgery was a success. Well done !
    Not to worry too much about getting sick. You will get well and be strong again.

    I was back to work last Wednesday and getting into the swing of things in office.

    Stay positive and all will be good for you.

    Cheers !
  • did they give you medicine for the nauseau? i KNOW i will get that, so i asked for nasueau medicine. there's a new kind you put under your tongue that works great.

    when you threw up did it hurt? i mean, cause of your sore throat and trouble swallowing? i'm scared of that. if i throw up will it get caught or cause infection. how was it for you?
  • I had C5-C6 ACDF on Monday, July 14, 2008. I was nauseous that night at the hospital, better the next three days, then was so nauseous Friday, July 18 that I didn't think I would make it. I'm not sure if mine was from the pain meds or the constipation following surgery, but once things started moving and I stopped the pain meds the nausea subsided.

    Just keep looking up and I'll keep you in my prayers!

    God Bless!
  • Hey there,

    How are you feeling today! I hope your a bit better! I did have some nausia after I ate food when I had come home from the hospital. It was a good thing I had some anti-nausia meds around and I took those. I am not real sure if it was from just one thing...the meds the throat...etc. I think it was just a combo of everything.

    Crash if your still having the nausia today and you have not called your doc about it yet I would seriously consider it. You just might not know what could be the cause.

    Have you been able to keep food and water down? Pain meds down? We don't want you to get dehydrated or anything like that.
    You poor thing. I know this is tough! We are all here for you alright. Please PM me and we can chat. I will be hanging around the house all day relaxing.
    Sending you a soft and gentle ((((~~ >:D< ~~))))
  • Only fair that I post again. I am now 2 weeks post op. Yes, I did take some meds for nausea for a few days. I think that the meds from the hospital stay in your system for awhile.

    I have been trying to walk daily. It seems like one of the few things I am allowed to do. Sitting around is just not for me. It is really hard to remember not to reach up or bend down. I am a Mom and we do that quite often throughout our day. Big part of the job. Well, my kids and hubby are getting a better idea of what I do for them all of the time. I think my youngest actually enjoys helping me out.

    The collar is really annoying. I feel like I have a tight scarf on all day long. Still feel as if someone is pressing on my throat. Sleep? Well, you all know about that. I think I am on the road to recovery and hope that all these annoyances will pass too.

    For me, now I must begin to think about/plan when to have my lumbar surgery. I am thinking that I would just like to get this all over with ASAP and begin a new chapter in my life - pain free!!
  • that you are doing a little better and on the road to recovery. Already thinking about lumbar surgery--you are a brave one!

    How long do you have to wear the collar? Is it a hard or soft collar? can you remove it at all, or is it a 24/7 thing? Whatever your doctor has prescribed, please follow his instructions. If it is something like an aspen or miami j, please keep it tight as instructed. I watched someone in an aspen collar who was able to turn her head while wearing it. Hmmm, I just don't think she was wearing it correctly, because I sure couldn't turn my neck while wearing it! Now this person is having some serious problems with her neck and I have to wonder if it could have been prevented if she had only followed doctor instructions. But then again, I followed them completely and ended up with a revision. You never know.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • You brought up a really good point. I was never instructed on how tight the collar should be. As a matter of fact, when I woke from surgery, the collar they had me in was way too big. It took me asking the nurses if it was right for anyone to get me a smaller one. Even now, I wonder if it should be even smaller as the back side of my Aspen collar comes half way around towards the front.

    I am suppose to be in the collar for 3 months 24/7. Sleeping, showering, etc. I have read that some surgeons do not even require wearing a collar at all. As much as I hate this collar, I definitely feel more secure with it on. It makes me nervous when I take is off for a minute to switch to a new one. This may be a good topic for a new post.
  • I see your x-ray picture and this is what they are planning to do to me next month. I had an ACDF on C5-6 and C6-7 and healed up just fine and was back to "normal." Then in June I was in a minor car accident which caused the bottom level fusion to crack slightly and the C7-T1 disc to bulge, now they're going to put rods and screws on the back part of the spine for support and fix the bulging disc. How was the recovery for you with the rods? Any trouble lying down? Pain in your arms? I remember after the ACDF surgery I had scapular pain for about two weeks, but with that surgery, the pain in my arms and the massive headaches were gone.

    Just curious...
  • CRASH,
    LJ started a topic that I just posted in about Collars and what different docs have prescribed after neck surgery. It was interesting how much variation there is from doc-doc.

    As for my Aspen collar the back portion reaches around to right about under my ears! I was told that when I fasten the velcrow on each side tho make SURE they were even. I guess so for one, the tension on each side was the same and 2, that the collar was sitting evenly on your neck and the straps were pulled to the same tightness and length.

    If your not certaint about it you might want to call and ask to Docs office to explain it. My collar also came with instructions but they were different then how I was actually fitted with the collar.

    At night when I sleep I do notice the collar will loosen up a bunch. I do lossen it a tiny tiny bit to go to bed other wise I feel like I am chokcing myself. I am just now starting to experiment with a few hours a night sleeping somehwat on my side, but still on the wedge pillow.

    What i think is an interesting question, but again would/coul be different from doc-doc is when do they decide to take you out of the collar? when they see fusion begining? When the screws etc have had a long enough time to start to set into the bone. Hmmmm who knows.

    If I tried to sit down and ask my doc some of these questions, which I could think up all kinds of stuff he might as well just come on over and stay at my house for a few hours so I could pick his brain about all sorts of stuff!!!! LOL Enquiring minds Want to KNOW!!! LOL

    I love to learn about the human body!
    Anyway Crash and everyon else I hope you all have a great day!!!


  • Hey I had the same thing in the hospital with vomiting and discomfort that was tough. Glad to hear other than that you are doing GREAT!!!! =D> I had it real easy after that day I slept in bed the first night and during the day in recliner with ice pack on my neck. I am doing a lot of things I need to work on getting back into my exercise. I go back and get another xray on Dec. 9th, the first one went well and the fusion is doing what is suppose to do.
    Hey I want to tell you Crissy I did findly drove and coming along very well. Pain is gone just have the post op. I am on my 4th wk now.
    So hope all gose well with those who are having this surgery or waiting for it. I would do it all over again.
  • Hello Crash21,

    It's been a while. Glad to hear you are recovering. This is a long and painful road, but the Drs. continue to assure me that my quality of life will improve. I had an ACDF (C5-7). However, the pain/symptoms have returned particularly in my left arm down to my fingertips. My left arm has become essentially useless. Have you experienced any tingling, numbness, weakness, and excruiciating pain in your arms? I hope not. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. Well, I'll see my NS on Weds. He's trying to determine where to go from here and why am I in so much pain. I've even tried acupuncture and deep massage therapy. All to no avail. Currently, I'm under the care of a Pain Specialist. Please take care and take it one day at a time. Hope to hear from you soon :H
  • Wow! I sure hope they find out precisely what is causing all your left arm pain, tingling, numbness! This what I have been experiencing for two years. I'm having surgery in the next month or so to deal with it.

    Did your doctors do a nerve block diagnostic? My Neurosurgeon had one done to make sure the pain was coming from the nerve being impinged on the C-5/C-6 level.

    I wish the best for you in the future!

    Ken GreyEagle
  • just had my one month check-up after acdf 5/6 on 7-23, the scar looks alot better than i thought it would, all pain is gone on my right side. left arm still aches and and alot of pain on that side of my neck. start PT 3x a week for a month on monday. still can't run or do much more, he said i could mow the yard for short periods, stopping and resting frequently. neck really bothers me if i'm out talking to several people and have to look around, but still taking muscle relaxers and pain meds. so far so good
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